PH2: The Spyder Club
Times are tough, but there is an alternative option to buying a new bike...
What is it?
The basic package is £950 for 10 days, but as well as getting a bike that also includes insurance, tax, servicing and even delivery. So, unlike owning your own bike, that's all you pay. The club will drop the bike off at your house or office then it is yours to mess around on until they collect it again at the arranged return date.
What bikes are on offer? We aren't talking rusty old crappers here - currently the club has a Panigale, Norton, Diavel, Bimota, Daytona 675 and 848 to name a few and there are more on the way. The bikes are continually updated to keep them in line with the latest on the market.
What's it like?
Arriving in a white transit van, the bikes emerge clean and ready to go with the Bimota looking virtually brand new. It may not be the latest bike out there, but with around 200 ever made is pretty rare.
Mark tells me one of the ideas of the club is to give normal people a 'journalist experience'. I admit I'm pretty lucky to do the job I do and while I'm used to chopping and changing between bikes when out testing, not many people are able to - which is another bonus of the club. You can play on a brand new Panigale, show off to your mates for a few days, then chop it in and next week ride an R1 or Diavel.
What's the catch?
Before meeting the guys from the Spyder Club I had kind of written it off as a slightly silly idea - why not just buy a bike? Having seen the set-up and chatted with Mark and Lizzi about how their members use it I now see the sense.
The minimum package of £950 for ten days works out at around £100 a day to play on some great bikes with all your costs covered. To be fair, if you booked only the Panigale this would probably work out as nearer seven days due to the way the points system works, however that isn't bad when you consider how much you throw away a year on insurance, tax, MOT and servicing when you own a bike.
For info on the Spyder Club go to their website. There are some terms and conditions, including an age range of 25-70 and a maximum limit of six points on your licence.